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Messages - WDE97

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All Grain Brewing / Re: poor all grain efficiency, don't know why
« on: December 28, 2011, 10:22:39 AM »
edit* Oh, looks like hokerer and I had the same thought at the same time. Sorry for the redundancy!

Don't be sorry.  You know, "great minds" and all that :)

Haha!! I was thinking that same thing!  ;D

All Grain Brewing / Re: poor all grain efficiency, don't know why
« on: December 28, 2011, 10:05:55 AM »
hydrometer reading was 1.06 after I cooled the wort.  added two slap-packs of london 1028 (expected a higher OG) to the wort @ 85 degrees, left the fermenter in a 70 degree room.

Not related to your efficiency issue, but I noticed you pitched your yeast at 85F?  Generally you want to cool your wort below 80F before racking and pitiching yeast. One main reason is that at these higher temps, the yeast can produce much more diacetyl and fusel alcohols, which you don't want in your beer.  Since WY1028 has an upper temp tolerance of 72F, I would suggest cooling the wort down to your room temp (70F) before pitiching your yeast so it is fermenting in the proper range.  This should help with the quality of your finished product.

edit* Oh, looks like hokerer and I had the same thought at the same time. Sorry for the redundancy!

Pimp My System / Re: Kegerator Build
« on: December 16, 2011, 09:32:34 AM »
Thanks everyone!!  As with most homebrewing projects, it was a lot of fun to build, but is even more fun now that it's finished.  It's funny, I have a 28 year old washer and dryer but don't mind dropping $800 to build a kegerator. ;D At least my priorities are in order!

Pimp My System / Kegerator Build
« on: December 15, 2011, 08:29:02 PM »
Here are some pics from my 5-tap kegerator build.  The kegerator has been operational for a few months, but I just finished designing a logo and had a sign printed. I used a new Kenmore 11.7 cu ft freezer and built a collar as most do.  I decided to go with a new freezer to avoid having potential issues with buying used. Yes, I know many of you have had sucess with used freezers, but I have bad luck with stuff like that. 

The collar is 2"X8" pine with a 1"x10" oak outer sheath.  The outer sheath rises about 1/4" above the inner collar, and hangs down 1.5" below the top of the freezer.  I built the 2x8 part to be exactly the width and length of the freezer so that the outer sheath would fit snugly. 

I cut the collar a little shorter than 2x8 so that the lower screews of the freezer lid hinges would fit into the upper holes on the freezer, with just the upper screws in the collar. I thought the added stability would be worth the lost of ¾” of depth.   

I used Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner, stained it with  Minwax WoodFinish red chestnut, and Minwax Helmsman spar urethane to help prevent rotting from condensation.  Wood was all glued and screwed together, then two more coats of the urethane were applied.  I used a roll of rope caulk between the top of the freezer and the bottom of the collar.

Holes for the faucets were drilled with a drill press.  I am still deciding what to do for tap handles, but it works fine without them for now.  Rbower’s tap handle project with the magnetic labels looks like a pretty good idea, so I may do something like that. 

Anyway, I can fit 6 kegs plus the CO2 tank inside with room for bottles (or a half keg in the future) on the hump.  A 7-way spitter allows me to keep all 6 kegs on tap, plus an extra hose for jumping beer, pushing santizer, filling bottles, etc.  Used Perlick faucets and a Johnson Temp Controller, which is mounted to the wall.  The kegerator sits in my laundry room which is about 10' away from my couch/recliner and TV!

Finished product!!

I designed the logo myself from scratch with Adobe Illustrator (used the free trial).  I took a photo of my own hand and stylized it with the software for the label.  It is printed on vinyl and has a hard plastic backing.  Also had a few 5”x7” stickers made to put on stuff like my truck window, kegs, etc. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kegerator or beer fridge placement?
« on: December 12, 2011, 09:56:18 AM »
Like Denny, mine's in the laundry room. Fortunately, that's only about 10 feet from my couch and TV. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: How do yall buy grain?
« on: December 12, 2011, 09:52:19 AM »
Like a lot of others here, I buy my base malt in bulk.  I actually buy mine through a local brew pub.  They allow members of our homebrew club to buy grain from them at cost, and will even order bags for us if it is something they normally don't carry.  It's so much cheaper ($25-35/bag) for me than even buying bulk grain on line.  I then buy all the rest of my grain online by the 1lb or 5lb. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast
« on: December 07, 2011, 10:26:16 AM »
I used it with a scottish 80 and the karusen was a good 3-4" thick.  I used that yeast cake on a wee heavy and the krausen blew through 1.25 gallons of headspace (and the airlock of course).  I had to use a blow off tube for at least 2 days.  You should be seeing a nice krausen. 

+1.  I use WY1728 frequently and always see anything from a 3-4" thick krausen to a blowout (when making a wee heavy).  I usually make a 2-4L starter, so your 3 packets should have done something.  Is there any evidence of a krausen on the carboy? 

I just made a Scotch ale about 4 days ago with OG=1.088.  Fermentation temperature is about 60 F.  I pitched a 20-oz starter in 3 gallons, and fermentation started up within 12 hours, then it had a huge krausen for about 2 days, and now it's already fallen back in.  Time to check the gravity -- this might be a really fast yeast, I'm not sure.  Sure seems like it.  Is it possible that it's already finished fermentation for you when you weren't looking?  Check the gravity, that's the only way to know for sure.

I haven't experienced overly quick fermentations with this yeast. They usually start fast, but go for a few days. I ferment this yeast at 60-62F, so a warmer fermentation probably would go faster.  As Dave suggests, check your FG.   

Ingredients / Re: Protein rest for Golden Promise?
« on: December 05, 2011, 03:22:11 PM »
One thing I would suggest for a Pilsner: use Pilsner malt  :)

Yup, agree. Someone gave me 10lbs. of golden promise, so I need to find something to make with it. Got any ideas?

A Scottish or Irish Ale. I use GP as the base malt for all of my Scotch and Irish style beers.

Pimp My System / Re: Tap Handle Project
« on: December 05, 2011, 02:50:54 PM »
Great looking tap handles!  Love the custom labels for each beer as well.  Really nice touch!  I just finished using the Adobe Illustrator trial version myself to design a brewhouse logo and labels.  Yes, there are cheaper tools out there for making labels, but AI is an awesome graphic design tool if you want to get carried away. 

The Pub / Re: Ever see something you just HAD to share?
« on: October 24, 2011, 02:52:25 PM »
Stunning!!!  Thanks for sharing the link!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 10 easy steps to being a better brewer
« on: August 29, 2011, 10:11:10 AM »
Brew with other people once in awhile, such as at a club brew day, to see what others do during their brew day. We can all learn from each other.   

Ingredients / Re: Growing Hops questions
« on: August 26, 2011, 02:48:04 PM »
Dig the crowns when they are dormant, but you need to make sure the ground is thawed too. :)  Mark them so you'll remember where they are.

And don't move the whole thing, just hack off a good chunk, I wouldn't go with anything bigger than 12" in any direction.

Thanks Tom,

I was planning on digging them up in late September when I harvested the cones, but I will see if the landowners mind me going back later in the fall/winter. 

If the person giving is hopeing to get rid of the hops by letting you take them they have a nasty suprise coming next spring. Hops are almost as hard as horseradish to really get rid of. just one little piece of rhyzome left will regenerate into the same of monster after a few years.

Funny you should point that out.  The landowners have been trying to kill them off for a few years. Apparently, someone told them it was illegal to grow hops! :-[  She was happy to hear she wasn't in violation of the law.  However, they are planning on moving the historic shop and building a new shop on that site. Since the plants probably won't survive being under a couple feet of concrete, she was happy I was interested in taking a few and would be able to make good use of them.

Ingredients / Growing Hops questions
« on: August 26, 2011, 11:50:46 AM »
A few days ago I stumbled into an opportunity to obtain some mature hop plants and have a few questions for those of you who grow your own hops. These plants are decades old, growing up and covering an old homestead barn.   They are extremely healthy and robust looking with lots of cones.  I belive the cones will be ready for harvest in mid-September.  I have not grown hops before, but was planning on starting next spring, so I have done some reading up on the subject. However, everything I can find relates to planting small rhizomes, not mature plants.

So, my main questions are:

1. When would be the best time to dig up and transplant these mature plants? 
2. Are there any suggestions on the best way remove them, transport them, and replant them?


The Pub / Re: "Never Again" beers
« on: August 16, 2011, 03:47:32 PM »
The only beer I've had that i would describe as truly vile is Brau Brothers Scotch Ale. Had it at a tasting event a few summers ago. It was the only beer I had to spit out that day. They must have used 50% peated malt in the stuff. It tasted like an ashtray!

There are certainly beers I don't care for, but not many for which I would say "never again." I generally avoid fruit beers or beers with other flavor additives like herbs and spices, the exception being certain Belgian styles.

Haha!! Sounds like my first attempt at a smoked stout.  At the time, I didn't know anything about peat smoked malt and probably used 40%.  Five years later I still have most of it sitting in bottles.  I still can't bring myself to pour it out, but I can't bring myself to drink it either.  If I remember in Gordon's new book, he mentions something about peat smoked malt and the flavor of "open grave" or something like that.  Pretty accurate description, and one beer I won't ever drink or brew again.

So that brings me to a question.  I don't want to hijack the thread, but everyone is listing commercial brews. What about home brews that you would never brew again for the same reasons?

The Pub / Re: FIRE! FIRE!
« on: August 16, 2011, 03:37:14 PM »
Had my police scanner on yester early afternoon. Around 1:30 p.m. I hear  "Yeah, I think I'm gonna need another engine up here. The wind is pretty strong from the north, I don't think I can contain it myself."  About 3 hours later, I walk on the front lawn an see this!!

 Holly was literally standing in our front yard when she took this pic. As the crow flies, it's about a mile from the house. Turns out, a couple kids were playing with matches and toilet paper. I've been able to count three C-130's dropping fire retardent, and about six small planes dropping water. There is one giant helicopter with a tank and snorkle dropping water, and a smaller one with a bucket. Nurmerous trucks, etc... I can't imagine the cost involved. So far, about 1200 acres have burned, and they have it 25% contained. That I know of, one house has been lost.
  It's kind of a sick thing, but it has been very cool to watch. I mean, this is happening in my front yard, making drips right in front of my eyes! The planes are in a flight path right over my house! I have all the fire departments, the Beareau of Land Management, and the Pocatello airport all programmed in my scanner, so I can hear it all go down in real time.

Stay safe Weaz!! Who needs TV when you have kids with matches?

I had a similar experience up here in Lewiston a few years ago.  My GF and I sat on her deck watching a brush fire come over the ridge right toward her neighborhood.  We rounded up some friends with trucks and watched through the night ready to load up her and her roomate's stuff if the fire go too close. Fortunately, the fire dept got it under control and we didin't have to evacuate.

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